Legal and Ethical Information

Code of Ethics for Marriage and Family Therapists

The AAMFT strives to honor the public trust in marriage and family therapists by setting standards for ethical practice as described in this Code. The ethical standards define professional expectations and are enforced by the AAMFT Ethics Committee.

Ethics Complaint Process

The AAMFT Ethics Committee has the ability to investigate complaints against AAMFT members for alleged violations of the AAMFT Code of Ethics.

Legal and Ethics Consultations

Your membership in AAMFT allows you access to various member benefits, including consultations with AAMFT's legal and ethics staff. All members of AAMFT are eligible to receive Ethical Advisory Opinions. Members in in the following AAMFT membership categories are eligible for Legal Consultations: Pre-Allied Health Professional Members, Allied Health Professional Members, Pre-Clinical Fellow, and Clinical Fellow.

Legal and Ethics Fact Sheets

The AAMFT has developed a series of fact sheets concerning the legal and ethics issues that most frequently arise in a therapist’s practice. Each article provides general information on an important topic.

2020 Student Ethics Competition Winners

The results of the 2020 Student Ethics Competition are in! In 2020, AAMFT held the fifth Students Ethics Competition. In this competition, participants submitted an essay analyzing and responding to a hypothetical scenario. AAMFT has received 28 submissions from Master's, Doctoral, and PDI students. Join AAMFT in congratulating the winning teams on their excellent work! Please click here to view more information on the winners and their essays. 

Side-by-Side Comparison of 2012 and 2015 Codes

A side-by-side comparison of the 2012 AAMFT Code of Ethics and the 2015 AAMFT Code of Ethics was created to clearly depict the changes to the Code.

Tips for Maintaining an Ethical Practice

In 1962, the AAMFT adopted the Association's first Code of Ethics. Since that time, the AAMFT Ethics Committee has investigated many ethics complaints. During these investigations, the Committee and AAMFT's legal and ethics staff have observed common practice pitfalls. With that in mind, AAMFT offers these tips for maintaining an ethical practice. 

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